No Longer Hotel Subways

In 2021, record shows that 48,691 homeless people reside in New York City. In January 2020, record shows 1,670 homeless people slept in New York’s subway station. Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul planned on sending social workers to remove homeless people who sleep in the subways. The police will enforce rules in the subway station such as not allowing someone to take on multiple seats. Mental health professionals will be employed to provide mental health services for the homeless. Mayor Adams said that the subway will focus on services for transportation. When people swipe the metrocard, it’s all about heading to the final destination, not having free accommodation overnight.

The increasing amount of homeless people in the subway trains brought a spike in crime. The hostility on Asian Americans has brought some people in the subway to push innocent folks on the tracks. COVID-19 brought in less commuters. Crime and violence can hurt the future of subway transportation because people do not risk their lives to work using dangerous public transportation. New regulations on the subway station emerged when Michelle Alyssa Go was pushed by a homeless man in front of the train. The mayor’s plan to improve the subway’s safety did not reveal the cost at this time.

Shelly Nortz, deputy executive director for policy for the Coalition for the Homeless, was concerned that mental illness would become a crime because the homeless people do not have resources for mental health. She said, “Repeating the failed outreach-based policing strategies of the past will not end the suffering of homeless people bedding down on the subway.”

Police officers are prioritized on stations that have higher crimes than other stations. Limitations occurred on psychiatric beds in hospitals because Medicaid limited reimbursements for those who are staying overnight at a longer time. Governor Hochul wants to increase the amount of psychiatric beds by 10 percent. Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams’s plans hope to provide services for the homeless to help them integrate well into the community.

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